Whom The Gods Would Destroy, They First Give Tenure

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7 Responses

  1. SPQR says:

    That'll leave a sting.

  2. Linus says:

    If power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely, how does petty, arbitrary power corrupt? Why, thank you for that answer, Professor! You have to admire a guy like that. Willing to throw himself down the Well of Authoritarian Asshattery just to provide an object lesson.

  3. I think I've read a version of this email before:

    "Listen to me, you pompous frauds! If I'm going down, I'm taking you all with me. Dean Vernon, I know the truth. It was you driving your hovercar that night, not your horse! Dean Epsilon, I know all about your Department of Pool Boy Studies. And Doctor Wernstrom… Wernstrom! And you, Coach Smalley, or should I say Coach Hairpiece…"

  4. piperTom says:

    I know I'm focusing on the least of his sins here, but — he shared his email list with the whole group. I hate that! Gentlemen do not give out e-mail addresses to correspondents who don't know each other. That's why BCC was invented. Better yet, start a freaking blog!

  5. I am the attorney for Mr. Audaer.

    Some facts in your essay need clarification. First, so far as I know, Germain is not a tenured professor. He is an Associate Professor. Second, Germain is the full time faculty prosecutor for all cases involving alleged student misconduct. Third, Germain has not filed any charging instrument SPECIFICALLY at my request because even the filing thereof could permanently harm Mr. Audaer's chances of being admitted to the Bar. The parties are presently engaged in negotiations and thus no action is being taken at this point. He wants blood and I am not giving it to him.

    I wholeheartedly agree that the College of Law is violating not only its own principles but those of the Constitution which they teach ad naseum. Though the University is a private institution and the constitution does not apply to them, the College of Law is a very hypocritical institution — not just acting against the express language of the First Amendment and the Supreme Court, but also violating basic building blocks of due process. The College of Law has no definition whatsoever of the word "harassment" and is working off the fresh bread principle — "i know it when i see it". There is no way for a student to be able to comform his behavior to the school's expectations when there are no set parameters.

    The debate between Germain and Professor Ross is fascinating for all the reasons you point out and many more. Ultimately Ross is correct as there has to be a working definition, not necessarily set to a mathematical certainty, but guidelines and boundaries within which persons are expected to behave. Harassment has so many definitions around the country that one cannot be honest when declaring the word has a common dictionary definition.

    Syracuse University and its College of Law have brought great shame and embarassment upon the institution as a result of their way over the top reaction to satire. I can assure all of you that at the end of the day, Mr. Audaer will come out of this the victor. The only question is how much more of its integrity and reputation will the College of Law have to sacrifice in the process.

    Oh, and as an attorney who has represented many controversial clients and cases over the past near 20 years, let me just suggest that you redirect your arguments to the case at hand. Germain is a lawyer advocating for his client; just as am I. Never forget that our society does not equate the lawyer with the client. Germain has a job to do and though he and I disagree vehemently, it is unfair to attack the lawyer for the sins of the client. Your ire and anger should be directed at the University and College of Law for they are the powers behind and motivating this prosecution. Chancellor Cantor and Dean Arterian are Germain's clients and appear to be the persons who are whispering in his ear. The University has used Germain's emails to Ross in responding to criticism from any source hence establishing the relationship between the so-called independance of the prosecution and the guiding hand advancing it forward.


  6. jdog says:

    Normally, I'd comment, but I'm afraid my comments wouldn't be germain.

  7. You know, the name Greg Germain sounded vaguely familiar to me. I wonder if he represented the people I bought my house from 12 years ago – the lawyer who I believe flat-out lied to me about when they'd be vacating in order to (at best) save them some minor inconvenience and maximize mine.

    Mark, I also live in Syracuse and write a blog, so if anybody ever harasses me about it I'll be sure to look you up. However, I think you miss one important point about Ken's article – regardless of the position of Germain's clients, he and only he wrote that email, and Ken's taking him to task not just for the merits of his clients' case (or lack thereof), but for the concepts and tone he uses in that poorly-considered, broadly-disseminated email.

    I otherwise agree with your points.